Music Reviews



Plasmodivm: Paradise Under Fire

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Aug 04 2009
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Artist: Plasmodivm
Title: Paradise Under Fire
Format: CD
Label: Caustic Records (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****
I hear already those tacky approaches like "yet another faceless Harsh-EBM/Hellectro act" – but that would be an insult on the quality of one of the finest newcomer acts, this still succeeding genre has to offer. PLASMODIVM is a Spanish one-man project consisting of Sandro V. and he hails out of the holiday-paradise Gran Canaria. If his belonging has had any inspiring influence on the creation of this official debut album isn’t transmitted so far – but how can? "Paradise Under Fire" is simply the reincarnation of a top-notch Harsh Electro/EBM-album – but a remarkable one, I assure you. It’s the first time that I totally agree with a label info-sheet, which draws in this case similarities with cult acts like MORTAL CONSTRAINT and/or SUICIDE COMMANDO – let’s say it so: Sandro succeeds with his try to combine classic and authentic Dark Electro tunes with a few remarkable sounds of the present, Hellectro-invaded aggression. Let’s take "Be Impure Stay Impure", which wanders in mid-tempo from the ears to the heart and finally into the legs for some body movements of every veteran fan, but still with that needed glimpse of current trends/styles to satisfy both audiences, of old and new school. If there’s seriously someone out there rambling on this slower arranged masterpiece, the next killer "Life As Slave" should be able to satisfy all friends of a higher tempo. You will of course find enough additional tracks to feed your greed for dancefloor-action – but it’s good to hear, that Sandro seems to be always on the hunt to add atmosphere and a scary mood into his skillful arrangements. As for the comparison with MORTAL CONSTRAINT, well, check tunes like "Fade away" or that fine instrumental "Embrace My Fear" – and you will understand. PLASMODIVM is Harsh-EBM band inspired by EBM – regarding the millions of Hellectro-copycats out there trying to imitate a Death-Metal-outfit by using Techno-inspired ingredients a quite important note not to forget. Go out and get the best harsh Electro/Industrial-album out of Spain after "Torschlusspanik" (DIOXYDE). We’ll gonna introduce this promising newcomer soon on here with an interview, so watch out!

Aug 04 2009
cover
Artist: Massiv In Mensch (@)
Title: Meanwhile Back In The Jungle
Format: CD
Label: Caustic Records (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****
Already out since a few months, I’m quite late to put my critical finger on this edition. At first I have to praise the initiative of the Canadian home-label of this North-German act, Artoffact, to watch out for foreign help to offer the band the best possible support, promotion and distribution. Artoffact have decided to give out a license agreement for MASSIV IN MENSCH and in this case, the rather small Spanish label Caustic Record got chosen to take care on the European marketing of this new studio album for this international renowned music project.
Caustic-Records is engaged, works hard and puts all of their possible efforts into the promotion of this album – let’s hope that the incoming sales prove right this initiative. After their boxer-storyboard "Clubber Lang" released in 2007, "Meanwhile Back In The Jungle" offers the latest compositions of this trio in their known dancefloor-compatible style - of course also including their approved "cheek-in-mouth"-like lyrics. We surely can’t report of drastically changes regarding the musically formula presented by MIM, a refining and a further development can be rather noticed in subtle dimensions – but why changing a nearly unbelievable story of success before this cow stops to give milk? Musically, "Meanwhile Back In The Jungle" consists of rather known efforts by this band. MIM still produce danceable – as they like to call it – Dark Rave tunes, which draw inspiration by genres like Futurepop and the recent state-of-art sound-design of EBM – generally not that spectacular that you would be impressed by their programming kind. MIM rather impress with their directly and humorous kind to include their cheek-in-mouth lyrical efforts, just check the German "Elitär" featuring an additional performance by the female band-member Anna-Maria Straatmann. Their last years’ smasher "Supermassive Gravity" which is a collaboration with Austria’s MIND.IN.A.BOX, got included too and will stand in the first line of appreciation asides the new tunes "Ikonoklast!", "Never Trust The Outline" or that delicious and slippery "Pink Dream". No stuff to get astonished by their programming abilities, but also no stuff to search for the one and only hair in the soup – MASSIV IN MENSCH offer their approved compositions, so there’s no end of the Friesian village-Electro/Industrial-project in sight!

Necrotek: Menschenfeind

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Aug 04 2009
cover
Artist: Necrotek (@)
Title: Menschenfeind
Format: CD
Label: Vendetta Music (@)
Distributor: KGD Media
Rated: *****
James Geist can be already called a veteran in the Dark Industrial scene, although "Menschenfeind" is the official debut album for his music project NECROTEK. Initially started as a side-project of James’ main project NITRIOUS FLESH, with which he’s active since years in the Dark Ambient genre. But since NECROTEK has received some more attention through some well-placed compilation appearances ("Interbreeding" and/or "Endzeit Bunkertracks") and his self-produced debut EP "Satanik", a stronger concentration on the rather Dark Electro-related efforts have been required. Good things happen to those, who are patiently enough to wait – the Denver-based label and mail-order retailer Vendetta Music brought in euphoria and showed interest to James’ dark, but quite different sounding music efforts and so the contracts got signed. "Menschenfeind" acts as a representative cross-section of his works, it includes both, the already discovered tracks like "Back To The Grave", "Wish You Dead" or "Satanik" - of course in a better produced and mixed kind - as well as several new compositions like the opener "Drugsick", "Ghosted" or the title track. As you’ve already noticed on the chosen track titles, James’ compositions draw pretty much inspiration of these of the dark sides of life. Life after death in its sickest forms and thinkable perversions seems to have some fascination on him and his music even strengthens this impression. Even if his synth and bass line arrangements remind on the EBM-related works of early SUICIDE COMMANDO or SEVERE ILLUSION, he often likes to distort his punching kick and snare work. Darkest Dark Electro featuring rhythmically Powernoise percussion works accomplished with a haunting lo-fi-effected vocal performance would be a possible description – that’s all far away of the Techno-/Trance-infected Hellectro-bullshit, which still storms well in the clubs. Different and significant sounding enough, that the music of NECROTEK can be called authentic – at least James’s efforts offer identity – that’s already more than any nameless Trancewhackedgoregalore-formation would be able to produce. "Menschenfeind" offers 10 own compositions plus 7 well-chosen additional remix contributions – and no, you won’t get any further useless AGONOIZE-/HOCICO-/COMBICHRIST-remix nonsense, but seldom discovered acts, which normally don’t got victimized to the remix-insanity. Names like the heavily underrated TERROR PUNK SYNDICATE, BRAIN LEISURE, NEON CAGE EXPERIMENTS, LAST INFLUENCE OF BRAIN, TERMINAL STATE, EXPERIMENT HAYWIRE and the label colleagues of NOIZEKATT do their best to offer quality new interpretations out of the NECROTEK efforts. The remix of BRAIN LEISURE with its nearly FLA-like sequencing work I tend to rate as a highlight, since this one could be able to open several closed doors to the clubs for James’ rather obstructing arranged tracks. As a special goody for his die-hard fans, James has decided to produce a limited second CD of this album, which features additional 3 own compositions and 6 remix contributions by among others KIFOTH, NORMOTONE, COLD DRIVE, the SEVERE ILLUSION side-project VANVARD or SYNAPTIC DEFECT – well, enough reasons for sure to ask for this special DCD edition, just contact James directly. But already the 1-CD-edition uses the full length of an album – more than 78 minutes of necrophilistic Dark Electro ready pressed, awaiting you to discover.

BAD SECTOR: CMASA

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Aug 04 2009
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Artist: BAD SECTOR
Title: CMASA
Format: CD
Label: Power And Steel (@)
Rated: *****
Active since mid nineties Bad Sector is the project of the Italian Massimo Magrini. CMASA is its latest release and it's a particular one. Born as soundtrack to the M3M art exhibition in Pisa/Italy the five tracks you can find on this release have been later re-assembled and edited. The exhibition was based on images of the seaside and the rivers estuary of the Pisa area with CMASA airplane factory built there vis a vis of archaic marine cottages. Massimo was asked to use acoustic and natural sounds too, so he used treated piano and acoustic guitar sounds along with water and metal samples. The whole album in this way acquired a particular mood inspired by the places he saw. Melancholic melodies are mixed with bleeps, synth pads and samples creating a great soundtrack. Sometimes sounds have been treated like on i.d.m. music (creating that particular cut and paste/interrupted effect) and those ones create a good contrast when used with the ambient ones. CMASA is a particular Bad Sector release but it sure fits really well the Power And Steel catalog.

Mechanical Moth: Rebirth

 Posted by Andre Wiegand   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jul 30 2009
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Artist: Mechanical Moth
Title: Rebirth
Format: CD
Label: Scanner
Distributor: Soulfood
Rated: *****
What have we got here? A guy, two female singers, electro danceable music; no, this is no reason enough to compare Mechanical Moth to Blutengel. Let me make it clear, there are no songs about vampires on the album in question. This unit from Darmstadt, Germany has been around since 2002 under a different name – Projekt Rosenhöhe (perhaps a word play on Mathildenhöhe located in their native city). Also it would be interesting to find out whether the band’s name was inspired by the short story by the writer Nikolai Leskov. His fiction story "The Left Handed" is about a highly skilled Russian craftsman in the 19th century who succeeded to produce a real-size jumping mechanical moth.
With their debut album "Fallen into You" the band found its way into DAC and enjoyed respectable positions in further charts. Now to "Rebirth"; the album stands in the tradition of the previous MM releases but not in their shadows. Some melodies are almost breath stealing and Tandrin proves his talents as a composer once more. It has to be mentioned that he does not sing much himself on this album. The opener "Dance Revolution" takes the attention of the listener hostage. "Cathedral" is a mid-tempo electro ballad with great female vocals. "Black Queen Style" is about a very specific female species. I don’t want to spoil it to you, just listen to the lyrics yourselves.
All in all there are 13 small pearls on the CD to hear. Everything sounds very professional thus you will enjoy "Rebirth" not only at the first listening. The only reason to bitch around is the relatively low number of high speed dance floor killer tracks (like "MDK"). Most of the songs are though really good and personal, but, to my opinion, not ideal for a playful party. However, entertainment value is not the only scale to measure an artist.


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